I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
True story, The Sea of Tranquility was not on my radar. I’d seen the cover, heard small mutterings here and there, but had simply passed it over. Luckily someone noticed certain books that I love and changed everything for me by saying one thing…you should read The Sea of Tranquility. That one phrase made me read this stunningly gorgeous book and I will now forever be grateful for that one simple nudge. Words can’t describe the feels I got reading this. There just isn’t enough to properly explain it.
The Sea of Tranquility is the heartbreaking story of a girl broken by tragedy. Before the tragedy she was a happy teenager with a happy family and a future in music. But that all changed the afternoon that she died and everything she knew was taken from her. Getting by the only way she knows how, she moves in with her aunt and hides. Hides in plain sight but under a mask she has created, a mask she has control of. And it works for her. Everyone sees her as she hoped and stays away. All but Josh Bennett. Because the one thing she never counted on was Josh seeing under the mask. Seeing her and being just as broken by his own set of tragedy. What starts out as uncomplicated companionship evolves into something neither saw coming. And if it falls apart they don’t know if there will be any pieces left to put back together.
I truly don’t know where to start. Do I start with the beauty of the writing? Do I start with the plot? Do I start with the characters? I guess I could start with any of those places. But the thing is my review wouldn’t do it any justice. I mean, how do you put perfection into words. It’s basically impossible. And yet The Sea of Tranquility was just that, perfection. Each and every part of this book; the laughter, the tears, the heartache and the love, all needed each other to make this story what it was. If the writing wasn’t as beautiful as it was I wouldn’t have loved the characters as much as I did. And if I didn’t love the characters I wouldn’t have been invested in their stories like I was. But I was invested. My heart shattered when theirs did. And I smiled when they smiled. And I hurt when they hurt. I was 100% invested and it was 100% worth it.
We all have that one book that you think, where have you been all my life? Why have I not read you until just now? Well The Sea of Tranquility is that book for me. I may have just met these characters but I’m so grateful that they will now forever be a part of me. So grateful that one person thought to say, hey, I bet she’ll like this one a lot and I should tell her to read it. Grateful that Katja Millay exists and shared this book journey with us. Because The Sea of Tranquility is just fantastic and I hope that I’m the one that is now saying to you, “you should read this. I think you’ll like it.”